Android is an open source mobile operating system. What that means is that the source code is open to everyone. It’s good for many people as they can customize the operating system the way they want. On the other hand, many people can use this opportunity to fulfill their bad intentions. As an end user you might be wondering how to safeguard yourself from these type of issues? Do you need an antivirus to stop running of scripts created by those virus developers ? or do we need to follow some best practices to help ourselves being safe while using our android phone.
Android is built on Linux kernel and typically considered safe. Linux does not have known viruses as users base is less than 2%. No developer will try to develop viruses just for 2% of people. Right? But if you see the Android user base, it more than 90% nowadays and that’s the reason it is more prone to get viruses. More users mean more impacts and that’s what virus developers want. Now that impact could be just unwanted annoyance or unwanted ads or could be more severe like stealing your information’s, bank details etc.
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If we compare android with closed source iOS, Apple’ iOS is relatively safer. iOS does not provide root level access to any user. It has a strict app permission and source codes are not open to anyone. With so many restrictions and having a lower user base compared to Android, iOS does not have any viruses ( At least no known virus reported). Android on the other hand, though based on Linux kernel are prone to get viruses. But we can safeguard ourselves by following some best practices instead of buying expensive antiviruses. We will try to figure out android’s built-in security tool which is more than enough to protect your device for general use.
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Don’t buy a phone which does not provide security updates for at least 2-3 years. Security updates are given by Google and its free of cost. Many companies do not provide free updates as for them money is everything than user security. Though it does not cost anything to mobile companies they are reluctant to provide security updates as they don’t want to spend time for devices which are already sold. Few companies like OnePlus and Samsung, Google Pixels provides security updates for at least two years which is really great as they think about users than the profits.
Why security updates are so important is because it can protect your device from all known treats time to time. Whenever a new treat is reported, Google releases a new security patch to fight against that threat. So it’s a best practice to keep your Android device updated all the time
2.Permission for Apps
Many of us just ignore the permission for apps when installing apps from google play store. For example, if you are installing a game, why does it need you your call details permission, why does it need camera permission? Don’t install any apps which need unnecessary permissions. Viruses and malware get unwanted permission while installing and that’s how it infects your devices.
Many of us might not be aware of the safe browsing feature in chrome but it’s a default feature comes with chrome app. It gives you a warning whenever you try to access a suspicious website. You should always go by this warning and restrict yourselves from visiting that particular website. Following google chrome many other browsers are also providing the same feature, but I would suggest you stick to google chrome for safe browsing.
4.Install apps from unknown sources
Android has a default option to restrict you from installing any app from sources other than google play store. Many of us just uncheck that option and install the app from sources which are not legit. That’s the major loophole that we are creating for suspicious apps to infect our devices. Unless you are sure about the app, my suggestion would be not to use any app outside google play store. Play store scans every app that is uploaded so you can be sure that google app store apps are virus free ( Though it’s not 100% true). In 2017 google removed around 700000 apps from play store as those contains viruses or malware.
5. Don’t root your phone
Rooting gives you admin access to your phone. But at the same time, it allows virus and malware to access your phone. Many people do root their phone just for fun, some people do that to unlock some extra feature. In both the scenario they are making their phone’s security weak and tempting viruses to infect their devices.
Those are the inbuilt security that are available for you to protect your devices. The list may vary for phone to phone as many company offers custom security app for their devices.Well, Now the big question, If someone follows above security measures, do they still need antivirus for android phones? The answer would be YES. But only for some special cases as mentioned below.
Using your phone for work
If you use your phone for work or you store some sensitive work information, it’s better to use a good antivirus. You don’t know when something goes wrong and you lose sensitive vital information. The cost of antivirus will be much less than that sensitive information. Right?
Using Internet banking
Do I need to explain this? I don’t feel so. If you use your phone for internet banking or do any sort of financial transaction using any app, make sure you use good antivirus software. No matter how big or small that transaction is but money always matters. Make sense? I personally use the Norton antivirus to protect my android phone.
The tendency to lose your phone
Many people are so casual with their phones is that they lose their phone very often than others. If you are one of those, then you should use an antivirus. You might say that I am a rich person, why should I bother, I can buy a new phone. But what is my point here is that you can buy a new phone but if you don’t use an antivirus, your data in the lost phone will be compromised. Do you want that? If not then use an antivirus as most of the antivirus has a feature of wipe out data remotely.
Hope I am able to clear up the doubts that android phone don’t need any antivirus unless you are using it for special purposes. But frankly speaking antivirus software are relatively cheaper and nowadays we are using our smartphone for all special cases that I mentioned above. So it would be wise to use a good antivirus just to give your device an extra level of security that it deserves. Always we need to remember that in the 20th century, your data is more costly than your device.
That’s all we have in this article. Hope you liked the article and found some useful information. If you have any queries please do write in the comment section and I will be happy to answer. If you find this article helpful please rate us five stars.